BOISE - The number of Idahoans who filed a continued claim for regular state unemployment insurance benefits increased 2 percent for the week ending November 21 to 8,793, up 483 from the previous week according to the Idaho Department of Labor. The four-week moving average for continued claims increased from 8,150 for the week ending November 14 to 8,343.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits totaled 4,732 for the week ending November 21, down by 328 claims, while the four-week moving average increased by 5 percent to 4,680.
An increase in initial claims and continued claims for regular state benefits is normal for November, December and January due to the ongoing seasonality of Idaho’s economy. Claims related to COVID-19 may disrupt or exacerbate this normal seasonal pattern.
The department paid out $5.7 million in claims during the week ending November 21, up slightly from the $5.6 million for the week ending November 14. Regular state benefit payouts were $1.9 million, up $.1 million from the previous week, but 1.7 times higher than the same week in 2019.
Federally funded CARES Act payments for the week ending November 21 include Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) payments of $1.2 million, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) at $2.4 million and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) at $226,200.
Total benefit payments to laid-off Idahoans attributed to COVID-19 have reached $924.5 million. Regular state unemployment insurance benefits make up $214 million of the total. Benefits paid by the federal CARES Act programs reached $710.6 million for the week ending November 21 and include PEUC benefits at $42.6 million, PUA benefits at $85.5 million, FPUC benefits at $539.9 million and Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) benefits at $42.6 million. LWA payments ended September 30.